I've searched all of the reasonable sources for a meaning of clot as the word appears in the following sentence. I've also tracked down a couple of people who shear sheep and neither of them was able to help me. Before going to the effort described above, I assumed that clot meant un-carded, unwashed wool, but there does not appear to be any text that supports my suspicion. Here is the sentence:

The wool produced by the pasturing of sheep was needed in ever-increasing amounts for the manufacture of clot.

After more-or-less coming to the conclusion that clot was a typo and that the correct word was cloth I got some push-back from editors who based their opinion on context. Anybody know what is meant by clot?

The sentence comes from an historical account of enclosure in 16th century England.

  • No need to assume a typo; in the 16th century orthography wasn't quite as fixed as it is today. "Clot" is certainly no further than the "clout" in Ne're cast a clout till May be out.
    – bye
    Aug 13 '14 at 23:54
  • The writing was 20th century, not 16th, so my question (and the usage) is in a more-or-less contemporary context. Aug 13 '14 at 23:59
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    @bye That clout is a different word from cloth. The vowel has been written in countless ways, but I've never come across th being written as t, even in older texts. If cloth were written clot, even in the 16th century, I'd say it's almost certainly through a typo (though it is now clear that this text is not actually from back then). Aug 14 '14 at 0:04
  • Clotted cream is not made with wool. And one would not manufacture clotted wool. Wool cloth is probably correct. Is there more to the text then that posted? Aug 14 '14 at 0:04

A clot is a lumpy thing - most often heard of as a blood clot that clogs an artery or mud clots that you scrape off of your boot.

While clot may have some deep meaning in 16th century England, the argument that it a typo for cloth is pretty compelling.

  • Most of the KL- words in English refer to some sense of "contiguous; connected; together", so it's not terribly surprising that such word clusters as clot, clout, and cloth can be used more or less at will for varieties of the same thing. Aug 14 '14 at 0:07
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    That isn't 100 percent clear to me. But thanks for clueing me in.
    – Oldcat
    Aug 14 '14 at 0:09
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    @JohnLawler, thanks for the great link. You have, again, amazed me. I am off to bake klugel. Aug 14 '14 at 0:27
  • And thanks for explaining to me why "clot" sounds so good to me. Aug 14 '14 at 0:29

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